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Bangladesh and elements of India look to lockdowns as a wave of instances hits South Asia, and extra information all over the world.


NEW DELHI — As a brand new wave of coronavirus infections grips the densely populated area of South Asia, home to a quarter of the world’s population, Bangladesh on Saturday introduced a second lockdown and officers in Mumbai, India’s largest metropolis, mentioned they had been on the verge of declaring one.

The authorities in Bangladesh mentioned the nation of 165 million folks would go right into a weeklong lockdown starting on Monday to curb the unfold of the virus. The nation shut down for 2 months beginning in March final yr.

Bangladesh on Friday registered almost 7,000 instances in 24 hours, the very best because the unfold of the virus within the nation final yr. The day by day dying toll has been round 50 for the previous week, however what has notably alarmed officers is the excessive check positivity charge, with 24 p.c of virus checks carried out coming again constructive.

Farhad Hossain, Bangladesh’s state minister for public administration, instructed the native information media that “industries and factories will stay open,” however would function in shifts and observe strict well being protocols. The exceptions gave the impression to be aimed toward decreasing the financial impression and avoiding the kind of exodus of laborers that led to a humanitarian disaster in India final yr.

Infections have additionally been rising sharply in Pakistan, which has struggled to supply vaccines for its inhabitants, and in India, the place a vaccination drive is only now picking up pace — regardless of the nation being house to one of many world’s largest suppliers of vaccines.

Only a few weeks in the past, India was a serious exporter of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it was utilizing that to exert influence in South Asia and around the world. However as infections soared, the nation determined to cut back on exports and is now holding again almost all the 2.4 million doses that the Serum Institute of India, the personal firm that is among the world’s largest producers of the AstraZeneca vaccine, makes every day.

India on Sunday reported greater than 93,000 new instances, its largest one-day improve since September. Single-day figures generally include anomalies, however the country’s seven-day average of recent instances, a extra dependable gauge, has been rising sharply since early March.

Practically half of deaths and new infections in current weeks have been traced to the state of Maharashtra, house to Mumbai, the nation’s monetary hub.

Uddhav Thackeray, the state’s chief minister, warned in a televised handle on Friday {that a} lockdown was imminent if folks continued with their relaxed perspective. Even when individuals are vaccinated, he famous, safety from an infection will not be absolute.

“The vaccine is like an umbrella within the rain,” Mr. Thackeray mentioned. “However what we face proper now’s a storm.”

As instances rise, regulation enforcement officers throughout India are adopting stringent measures, together with fining violators who don’t put on masks. India has additionally expanded its vaccination drive, now administering over three million jabs a day.

However the authorities’s messaging is at instances contradictory, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lots of senior officers proceed to carry large rallies in a number of states the place native elections are underway.

The federal government has additionally allowed a huge monthlong Hindu festival to go forward on the banks of the Ganges River. A million to 5 million individuals are anticipated to take part within the festivities within the metropolis of Haridwar every day, officers say.

In different virus information from all over the world:

  • On Saturday, Catalonia turned the most recent area of Spain whose authorities defied a authorities decree {that a} face masks should be worn in all public areas, together with seashores, unbiased of whether or not social distancing may be maintained. Miquel Sàmper, the area’s inside minister, instructed a Catalan radio station that the regional authorities believed that it was “pure logic” that “if you find yourself sunbathing, you needn’t put on a masks,” though the masks must be worn on the seashore if an individual moved about and acquired into shut contact with others. Regional politicians from the Canary and Balearic Islands, two Spanish archipelagoes which can be main tourism hubs, have additionally criticized the decree, which the central authorities made with out consulting them first.

  • Italy entered a three-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Saturday to discourage Easter journey and get-togethers even because the nation’s variant-fueled spike in new infections started to wane, The Related Press reported. Journey between areas and visits to kin had been being restricted via Monday. Nonessential retailers had been closed and eating places and bars had been open just for takeout.

  • San Marino, a microstate surrounded by Italy, feared being left behind in Europe’s inoculation marketing campaign. Now it has jumped forward, with the Sputnik vaccine despatched by an unlikely, faraway buddy.

  • Turkey has begun administering Pfizer-BioNTech shots, the second Covid-19 vaccine licensed within the nation after China’s Sinovac. With coronavirus infections surging and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaching, the federal government can be reimposing strict social distancing measures, together with a prohibition on large gatherings for the normal meals earlier than dawn and after sundown.